Anti-acetylcholine receptor antibody (AChR–Abs) testing is a safe and simple ancillary method for confirming the diagnosis of myasthenia gravis. Despite the test's high sensitivity (85%–90%) for generalized myasthenia gravis, AChR–Abs testing has been reported to have a low sensitivity 44%–66% for ocular myasthenia gravis (OMG). The aim of the study is to assess the effectiveness of AChR binding Abs testing for diagnosing OMG by evaluating the test's sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value.
A retrospective chart review on 114 OMG suspects who presented to the emergency department of a tertiary eye center in Victoria, Australia, was completed. The patients presented with diplopia alone, ptosis alone, or the combination of diplopia and ptosis. All participants were followed up longitudinally in the neuro-ophthalmology outpatient clinics for the average of 2.8 months, where they have received AChR binding testing. The final diagnosis was only given to the patients who either were seropositive for AChR binding Abs and had a high clinical suspicion of OMG, or the patient who was seronegative for AChR binding Abs but was regarded as likely to have OMG clinically and responded to the diagnostic treatments (pyridostigmine bromide and immunosuppressant therapy).
The sensitivity of AChR binding Abs testing in diagnosing OMG was higher (80%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 51.91%–95.67%) than previously reported (44%–66%). AChR binding Abs testing also had a high specificity (98.99%; 95% CI, 94.50%–99.97%) and positive predictive value (92.31%; 95% CI, 62.68%–98.85%).
The study suggests the higher utility of the AChR binding Abs testing in diagnosing OMG due to its high sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictive value.